General Motors settles California county recall case for $13.9 million

General Motors

General Motors accepted a $13.9 million settlement with Orange County, California after prosecutors alleged the automaker of purposefully concealing major safety flaws including those including malfunctioning ignition switches connected to almost 400 deaths and injuries, the company stated.

An Orange County superior court judge last week authorized the settlement for alleged offenses of unreasonable competition and unfair marketing laws for some automobiles recalled in 2014, consisting the ignition switch recall. Previously this month, the automaker agreed to a separate $120 million settlement with 49 states and the District of Columbia over defective ignition switches and its auto safety practices.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas stated that GM failed to reveal flaws in power steering, airbag and braking systems.

The largest U.S. automaker had formerly paid about $2.5 billion in charges and settlements over malfunctioning ignition switches that could trigger engines to stall and prevent airbags from releasing in crashes. The defect has been connected to 124 deaths and 275 injuries, and prompted a recall that started in February 2014 of 2.6 million vehicles.

GM spokesman David Caldwell stated that since 2014, GM had taken crucial steps to help ensure automobile safety, including a new organizational structure and a new program to encourage workers to report prospective problems.

GM still deals with over 100 lawsuits in connection with the ignition switch recall, consisting of financial loss and personal injury claims. The only remaining governmental lawsuit is from Arizona.

In 2015, the automaker paid $900 million to settle a U.S. Justice Department criminal investigation and accepted three years of oversight by an independent monitor after being charged with wire fraud.

No people were charged, however CEO Mary Barra fired 15 people, which included eight executives, over the problem. The ignition switch probe prompted an industrywide jump in recalls in 2014 to an all-time high and cast a spotlight on GM’s safety record as Barra affirmed before the United States Congress.

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